For Parents

Ohio State University Extension 4-H youth development programs are developed to ensure people actively learn by using hands-on educational opportunities. The experiential approach to learning is often referred to as “learn-by-doing” and is considered a hallmark of 4-H and other Extension educational experiences.

Real Money. Real World. (RMRW) is an excellent example of a program where young people have the opportunity to learn while actively participating. 

One of the most important life skills young people will need to succeed as adults is resourceful money management. RMRW provides young people the opportunity to learn basic money management practices in the classroom and then make simulated lifestyle and budget choices similar to those adults face on a daily basis through a spending simulation. RMRW is a great example of “learning-by-doing.”

You will find an overview of RMRW as well as the goals, objectives and outcomes on the home page of this website. It is successfully used with youth ages 12-18, but is ideal for ages 13-16.

If your school is partnering with OSU Extension to provide Real Money. Real World., please know that a variety of partners are needed. Best practice would include the following RMRW team members:

  • The local OSU Extension office provides an educator to lead the effort by supplying the curriculum, coordinating the spending simulation, and by training, equipping, and assisting a simulation coordinator. The Extension educator also assures that evaluations are completed and the data is reported to document the impact of RMRW.
  • The school teacher prepares and teaches five classroom lessons: four pre-simulation and one post-simulation. In some counties, the Extension professional teaches the classroom lessons.
  • The simulation coordinator secures the needed volunteers, assures that booths are set up and taken down, and that completed evaluations are returned.
  • Volunteers from the community staff the spending booths and interface with the students during the spending simulation. Volunteers are often from local businesses, but any caring adult is welcome to volunteer. Information packets are provided to prepare volunteers.

Check with your school to inquire about volunteering at a Real Money. Real World. spending simulation in your district.

To find out more about having your child join a 4-H club to expand their opportunities to “learn-by-doing,” contact your local Extension office by clicking here  and searching for your county’s office.